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Byzantium 1220 to 1330

Byzantium 1220 to 1330

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Published by vasilefs
In 1261 AD the Greeks of Nicaea recovered Constantinople from the Latins (French and other Western Crusaders). This inaugurated the Palaeologan period of Byzantium. For a brief last moment, the 'Christian Roman Empire of the Greeks' was again a major player in the Eastern Aegean region. In Asia, Byzantium's neighbours were the Turks, Seljuq then Ottoman, and it was they who would by 1330 extinguish forever Romanic rule in Asia Minor.
In 1261 AD the Greeks of Nicaea recovered Constantinople from the Latins (French and other Western Crusaders). This inaugurated the Palaeologan period of Byzantium. For a brief last moment, the 'Christian Roman Empire of the Greeks' was again a major player in the Eastern Aegean region. In Asia, Byzantium's neighbours were the Turks, Seljuq then Ottoman, and it was they who would by 1330 extinguish forever Romanic rule in Asia Minor.

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Published by: vasilefs on Apr 24, 2010
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O’Rourke: BYZANTIUM, RECOVERY AND RUIN 1220-1330
BYZANTIUM: FROM RECOVERY TO RUIN,a detailed chronology: AD 1220-1331
From the first appearance of the Mongolsto the surrender of Nicaea to the Ottoman Turks
 With extensive notes on the numbers, equipment and pay of the Early Palaeogian army.Compiled by Michael O’RourkeCanberra, Australia April 2010Email: mjor (at) velocitynet (dot) com.au
Greek Emperors at Nicaea and Constantinople:
John III Doukas Vatatzes, 1221-54.Theodore II Lascaris, 1254-58.Michael VIII Palaeologus, co-emperor 1259-61 with John IV Lascaris (at Nicaea),and sole emperor, 1261-82 (at Constantinople). Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1282-1328. Andronicus III Palaeologus, 1328-41.
Introduction
In the early 13
th
century, the leading Muslim powers of western Eurasia and north Africa were (from west to east:) 1 the Almohad Caliphate in southern Spain andNW Africa: east as far as our Libya; 2 the Ayyubid Sultanate, the creation of Saladin, d. 1193, in the Levant [Egypt-Palestine-Syria]; 3 the Seljuk (Turkish)Sultanate of 
 Rum
in central and eastern Anatolia; and in Persia, 4 the Empire of the Khwarizm Shah.Two small Latin Crusader statelets, much reduced since their 12
th
century heyday, held enclaves on the coast of Palestine and Lebanon-Syria. They weresurrounded, except on the sea-side, by the Ayyubids, viz: (a) the ‘Kingdom of  Acre’ under the Hospitaller knights, and (b) the Knights-Templar Principality of  Antioch-Tripoli.The Mediterranean sphere was divided among two Greek states and two Latinpowers. The Greek Despotate* of Epirus (later expanded into a so-called ‘Empire1
 
O’Rourke: BYZANTIUM, RECOVERY AND RUIN 1220-1330of Salonica’) controlled western and central Greece. Lower Greece was in thehands of the so-called Latin Empire, which also ruled in Constantinople. Crete was under the rule of Venice. Finally, the ‘Empire of Nicaea’ held western AsiaMinor. Thus there were
three
competing candidates for the ancient andprestigious throne of New Rome or Byzantium: (1) the Greek Despot of Epirus,Theodore Komnenos Doukas [1214-1230]; (2) the Latin Emperor, Robert of Courtenay [1221-28], who actually held Constantinople; and (3) the ‘Nicaean’Greek monarch Theodore I Lascaris [12o5-21]. Theodore had been aged about 30 when the Fourth Crusade stormed Constantinople in 1204, ousted the Roman(Byzantine) emperor Isaac II, and installed a Western (Latin) ruler.It is also useful to mention the major Latin states in Europe. There were five of note: (a) the Kingdom of Hungary under the Arpads; (b) the ‘German Empire’ so-called, under the Hohenstaufen kings, which included Sicily and nominally alsonorthern Italy; (c) France under the later Capetian kings; (d) Castile [the mostpowerful of several Christian kingdoms in Iberia]; and (e) England under thePlantagenets [Henry III]. Last of all—but very strong at sea
 were the small‘maritime’ states of northern Italy: Venice, Genoa and Pisa (the last being much weakened after 1284).(*) The Despot was not an especially tyrannical ruler; his title was just anordinary Greek word (
despotes
) meaning ‘lord’ or ‘master’.
Strong and Weak States
McEvedy & Jones’ (1978) guesstimates of population will serve as a metric for therelative strength of the Christian states. We will take first the Greek or Aegeansphere. Their estimate for Greece [present-day boundaries] is one million peoplein about 1225. To this must be added a guess for the population of the NicaeanEmpire. Here we can use one-third of what is now Turkey-in-Asia, namely twomillion people in the 13
th
century. Total:
three
million. When Greek rule was restored in Constantinople in 1261, emperor Michael VIII had about
two million
subjects, if we follow McEvedy & Jones. Otherestimates for the restored empire of around 1265 run as high as five million, notfalling to perhaps two million until the disastrous reign of Andronicus II (by AD1312) (Treadgold 1997: 700, 841: see the discussion in the entries below for AD1278 and 1282).This can be compared with McEvedy & Jones’ guesstimates for the Westernpowers in the early 1200s: Hohenstaufen Germany: perhaps 7 M including Sicily;France: perhaps 6 M people (allowing for the smaller size of 13
th
C Francecompared to today); Castile: about 3.25 M in 1225; and England: about 2.5 M.Finally we will note the likely size of the strongest Muslim state, the AyyubidSultanate: about 6 million people.
The Early Palaeogian Army 
. . .. . . is described in detail in a long section placed before the entry, below, for AD1328.2
 
O’Rourke: BYZANTIUM, RECOVERY AND RUIN 1220-1330The following topics are mentioned in the following places:-
 Barding (horse armour):
1259 (Battle of Pelagonia); after 1328 (ThePalaeologian Army in about 1330); and after 1333 (Ibn Battuta’s visit toConstantinople).
- Bow-cases
: after 1328.-
Composite bow
: after 1328 (The Palaeologian Army in about 1330).-
 Horse archers
in Byzantine service: 1242; 1259 (Battle of Pelagonia); 1261;1262-63; 1280-81 (Berat: Albanian campaign); 1301-02 (at Baphaeon); and 1320(the army of Andronicus).-
 Kettle-shaped brimmed war-hat or “chapel-de-fer” 
: before the entry for 1251;and before 1263.
- Lamellar armour
: after the entry for 1262; after 1319; and after 1325.-
 Pronoiars
: after 1261-63; before 1297-1330; 1298; before 1300; 1313-18; after1321; before 1326-62; and after 1328.-
Quivers
: after 1328.-
Varangians
: 1259; 1263; 1271-72; 1272; 1301/02 (Battle of Baphaeon); 1305(Battle of Apros); before 1320; 1325; and 1329 (Battle of Pelekanon).
Geography and some Technical Terms
“Adrianople” [Hadrianopolis]: Today’s Edirne in European Turkey.
 Asia Minor
”: today’s Turkey-in-Asia.It helps to know the location of two major rivers: in the SW, the Meander(Turkish: Büyük Menderes) which exits into the lower Aegean; and in the NW,the Sangarios (Tk Sakarya), whose lower stretch runs from near Ankara down tothe Black Sea well to the east of Cosnatinople.It also helps to know the eastern Aegean coast: the two major islands areLesbos and Chios [English pronunciation “kai-us”: rhymes with ‘bias’]. The townof Pergamum lay east of Lesbos, but inland. East of Chios was the key port townof Phocaea (modern Foca) with its famous alum mines. In SW Asia Minor there was an important cluster of large towns: Magnesia, Smyrna, Philadelphia,Tralles, Nymphaeum (Tk: Nif), Ephesus and Miletus.
 Basileus
”: The Greek word for emperor. Pronounced ‘vasilefs’.“Caria”: The SW sector of Asia Minor opposite Rhodes. More narrowly, ‘Caria’3

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